Groups demand more action from Congress on stimulus

AHLA, USTA want Congress to overcome political differences to pass a bill

As Congress prepares to recess for the 2020 election season, the American Hotel and Lodging Association and the U.S. Travel Association urged lawmakers to pass a new round of federal stimulus before leaving town.

A FAILURE TO act by Congress on more federal assistance for hotels suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic’s economic impact drew fire from the American Hotel and Lodging Association. They were not alone in their concern.

“We cannot express our frustration enough that our public servants care more about protecting their own jobs than they care about the jobs of the people they are elected to represent” Chip Rogers, AHLA’s CEO, said in a tweet.

On Sept. 30, AHLA joined nearly 200 other groups in sending a letter to Congress asking legislators to pass another round of stimulus before they leave Washington, D.C., for the campaign trail.

Failure to do so could lead to millions of workers being furloughed or terminated, the letter said. Those workers and others also could lose their unemployment insurance pandemic benefits and the companies that had employed them could close forever. State and local governments will have to curtail critical services due to a decline in tax revenue, AHLA said.

“It’s time for Congress to put politics aside and prioritize the many businesses and employees in the hardest-hit industries. Millions of jobs and the livelihoods of people who have built their small business for decades are just withering away because Congress has done nothing,” Rogers said. “America’s hotel industry is on the brink of collapse. We can’t afford to let thousands of small businesses die and all of the jobs associated with them be lost for many years.”

In mid-September, the U.S. Travel Association sent its own letter to Congress implore it to take immediate action on the stimulus. Otherwise, even more jobs will be lost, USTA said.

On Oct. 2, USTA reiterated that call to action and announced its COVID RELIEF NOW Coalition.

“Today’s discouraging jobs report is further evidence that our economy will continue to struggle without comprehensive federal assistance, and if it does not happen now a full recovery will likely be delayed for years,” USTA said in the new statement. “The need for further legislative relief for businesses, workers and local governments continues to be desperate. That need will only be met by a bill that is crafted under a deal by the two sides and can pass both chambers.”